Fremantle Press (the Press) was established in 1976. It grew from the creative writing and literature appreciation classes offered in the programs at Fremantle Arts Centre. One of the Centre’s most popular tutors was Elizabeth Jolley and their first single author volume was a collection of Jolley’s short fiction (Five Acre Virgin and other stories, 1976). As a not-for-profit arts organisation the core purpose of the Press is to publish the work of talented new Western Australian writers and artists.
Many authors published by the Press have gone on to establish national and international reputations, including Craig Silvey, Brenda Walker and Gail Jones. A.B. Facey’s memoir, A Fortunate Life, regarded as an Australian classic, became the first national bestseller for the Press. It has since been adapted for the stage, and filmed for national television.
The Press’s publications include many stories by Aboriginal writers and about Aboriginal cultures. In 1986 the Press published Sally Morgan’s My Place, which went on to become Australia’s bestselling Indigenous title and in 2000 the Press author Kim Scott was the first Indigenous author to win the prestigious Miles Franklin Award for his novel Benang.
The annual program at the Press includes literary titles (fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry), books for young adults and children and non-fiction titles documenting aspects of Western Australian society and culture, past and present, including history books, cook books, art and gardening books. It is a diverse, high-quality list featuring the works of some of the best Western Australian writers and artists.